Vegan Zucchini Chocolate Cake with Almond Brittle
This cake happened by necessity. But food waste and last minute ideas are often the most successful, and this one was indeed! The sponge is super moist and fluffy. The cream is so smooth, dates make it sweet without sugar and give more intense in flavour.
The past week I’ve intended to make a large pot of minestrone soup, traditional way. Traditional Minestrone is quite different from what is in England or the US. A lot of veggies, long cooking, 1 small tomato only for a huge pot. Is a thick and rich soup. So every day I reminded myself of that I should cut that mountain of veggie and make the minestrone. Then I would be absorbed by whatever else, work or kids and I had the perfect excuse to don’t cut that enormous amount of veggies. Because the truth is that I really wanted to EAT a minestrone soup, not to make it myself this time! So little by little the soup ingredients went all used up as they were starting to appear too sad to get to the next day when I would finally make the minestrone.
The best idea that came to my mind for the beautiful Italian zucchini has been to make them in this cake. Plus I also wanted to make a brittle from a long time. And even this was an accident as my initial plan was to make praline, to eventually discover my raw sugar would never work that way. So brittle then, I ‘ve surrounded to a good deal anyway :).
IThe day before: sweet potatoes (40 min circa skin on baking )
Preparation time 20 min
Baking time 30-40 minAssembling 20 min.
For the cakes (makes 2 discs of 15 cm - 6” each):
2 cups white self-raising all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 handful cracked cocoa nibs
1 cup pure cacao powder
pinch of sea salt
3 Tbsp flax meal + 9 Tbsp water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup plant milk (or more if the zucchini less moist)
1 cup grated zucchini
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
the zest of one lemon
For the frosting/filling:
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, baked skin on and pureed
6 Tbsp coconut oil
6 Tbsp cacao powder
8 Medjool dates ( this can be adjusted to taste)
100 gr bittersweet chocolate, melted
a pinch of salt
a minimum amount of milk to make the food processor running
few fresh raspberries or strawberries or whatever berries are left in your fridge
For the Brittle
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raw sugar pinch of salt
non stick baking paper or greased with oil
- Turn the oven on at 180°C. Grease the 2 tins of 15 cm with olive oil.- Mix the flax seeds with the water in a small glass. Set aside for 5 minutes.- In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together- In a jar also mix the liquid ingredients together.- Add the flax seeds to the liquid ingredients.- in a large bowl incorporate the dry with the wet, gently folding them together. If the zucchini are not as moist and the batter feels dry add some spoons of milk until you have a smooth batter.- Pass the mixture equally into the 4 tins. Cook for 30-40 minutes. And set aside to cool.
While cakes are baking:
Add all the frosting ingredients to the food processor. Blend into a smooth cream. If necessary add some spoons of milk to make the food processor running, the little liquid possible anyway. We want the frosting to stay thick and hold to the cake when cold.- Put the frosting into the fridge for 2 hours or until it is dense enough to decorate the cake.
-In a saucepan add almond sugar and 3 tbsp water. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring, over medium heat, until a syrup is formed and starts bubbling. Cook another 2-4 minutes until the sugar gains some viscosity. Turn the flame off and scrape the mixture out, spreading it over the oiled baking sheet.
When the cake has cooled down, and the frosting is solid enough to spread you can assemble your cake. If the cakes are rounded cut the round top with a very sharp knife.
Place the first cake on your serving plate and pipe some of the frosting, spread with a spatula in a thick layer. Then brake some small pieces of the brittle on it, and add few berries.
Place the second cake on top but upside down, so the perfect bottom becomes the top of the cake.
Scoop some frosting on the top and with a spatula spread the top and down the sides. To have the wave effect simply pass a wet spoon all around the cake in a spiral.
Decorate with the brittle over the cake and all around the sides.
For the aquafaba meringue recipe go here!
*If the cakes are wobbly while you frost them, poke in the middle a kebab stick, all through the bottom of the cakes stack, to hold them stable.